Monday, July 31, 2006
A letter from Matilda
I am so excited! I just received this charming response from the beautiful Matilda, who lives at the Algonquin Hotel in New York:
Subject: RE: Greetings from Catymology, Matilda
Date: July 31, 2006 2:33:01 PM CDT
Dear Aloysius Katz a.k.a. Aloysius Pangur Ban
You are CATabulously lovely - and guess what - because of the article I just
discovered my birth human and .... I am really a Ragdoll - so you may be one
too !!!!! You should look us up on ragdollcat.org.
You are right - I am getting a lot of fan mail after the article and my paws
are starting to hurt from all the typing. Can you come over here and help
I would be CATegorically delighted to be on your website.
Have a PURRfect day
It turns out that Matilda has gotten a lot more PR, too. No wonder she is so busy. People even tell her their secrets in emails. Like me, Matilda has staff: Alice de Almeida, the hotel manager's Executive Assistant.
The web site Shopcat tells us more and has some gorgeous pictures of Matilda. And this site says that she's a Ragdoll, not a Birman.
Matilda shares a rich history with many other kitties. Since the late 1930s, there has always been a shopcat at the Algonquin Hotel. Each cat has been "stage-named" Hamlet, but they all have personal names as well. All the other cats who lived at the Algonquin have been mutts, picked up from local shelters. Matilda is the first purebred cat the Algonquin has ever had (she is a Ragdoll). She has been at the Algonquin since 1997 when she was 2 years old. They have birthday parties for her every July 10. At her July 10, 2000 party, they raised $5000 for cat charities. Many cats were invited, but she didn't like any of them. She is very soft but doesn't like to be picked up. Her favorite hobbies are monitoring the desk, sniffing luggage, getting chin rubs, and bathing herself frequently.I'll be following Matilda's adventures in the future; this November she's to be "Cat of the Year" at the Westchester Cat Show.
Saturday, July 29, 2006
The city that is catted 24/7
Yo, cats and catted ones,
Here are some more pictures of New York, the city that is catted 24/7.
First, my favorite restaurant: Il Gattopardo. Click on over to their web page to hear a big cat roar.
IL GATTOPARDO is named after the 1963 classic Italian film, “The Leopard”, starring Burt Lancaster and Claudia Cardinale, and directed by the legendary auteur Luchino Visconti. The restaurant serves traditional southern Italian and Sicilian comfort food that has been adapted for the contemporary palate ....
Not far away, I was riveted by the enormous sculptures of headless, armless humans rearing up out of a fountain. And in the background, check out the big CAT machines.
Just for the heck of it, I brought home these big-cat chocolate bars. Yummy!
I gotta go now and empty out my spam box again. The offers for low-rate mortgages keep rollin' in, but so far, no credit card apps. What's up with that?
Matilda: my long-lost sister?
I heard the story about you on National Public Radio this morning and saw your picture on the NPR web site.
New York's fabled Algonquin Hotel has a rich history. Built in 1902, it was home to the literary lions of the Roundtable -- Dorothy Parker and George S. Kaufman, among them. But for years, the hotel has also been home to another kind of feline.
You must have a pretty sweet life at the Algonquin. And you're a beautiful Birman. People say I look a lot like a Birman, although I don't have any papers. Could you be my long-lost sister?
My human was in NYC recently, but she failed to visit you. How thoughtless of her! As a cat with a literary bent, I've always been fond of that great hotel where many famous writers have gathered.
I would love to be able to post your picture on my blog, Catymology. Would that be all right with you and your friends at the Algonquin?
I'll bet you get a lot of fan mail after that story. I hope you find time to answer this note.
Aloysius Katz, a.k.a. Aloysius Pangur Ban
Friday, July 28, 2006
Am I perverse?
When the temperature outside reaches 90 degrees, there's nothing better that lounging around on the couch with a nice, warm heating pad.
Tell me, do you think that's perverse?
And then, when my belly gets nice and warm, I like to give my human a foot massage. She says that my purring creates such good vibrations that it's just like going to a masseur.
Is that perverse?
I don't care, because the tips are pretty good!
The hot action today is at Modulator's Friday Ark. On Sunday, the Carnival of the Cats heats up over at The Scratching Post.
Tags: catymology cats
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Get your carnivals here! Hot summer carnivals!
Darcy couldn't have done it without me, Professor Katz!
If that's not enough, get sweaty with the 201st edition of the Carnival of the Vanities. hosted by Cait, a self-described teenage conservative. Oh, dear. I guess all the young people Darcy met in New York at the Dada should read Cait's blog. Maybe it will inspire them to make more art.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
New York's a Dada kind of town
Yo, cats and catted ones,
My buddy Jack and I went out on the town in the Big Apple, and this is what we saw:
First, we saw a whole lotta Dada at the place called MoMA. That's a big house full of people --and art! Here are some of the people milling around waiting to get in.
Dada turns out to be right up my alley. It took me a while to understand it, though. I had to give Professor Katz a call. Katz said: "Dada is art and not art at the same time."
What d'ya mean by that, Katz? I mean, how can something be and not be art?
Think of it in terms of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.Okay. I'll bite. What's this Heisenberg dude uncertain about?
It's a scientific theory. You could look it up.No, Katz. Not me. That looking stuff up is what you do on your thingpoddy. I'm here to get the gist of life, not look it up, you get me?
Dada strove to have no meaning — interpretation of Dada is dependent entirely on the viewer.Cool. What else?
So, Katz got on his thingpoddy and looked up some more about Dada.
A reviewer from the American Art News stated that "The Dada philosophy is the sickest, most paralyzing and most destructive thing that has ever originated from the brain of man."That's great, Katz. This Dada is right up my alley.
Art historians have described Dada as being, in large part, "in reaction to what many of these artists saw as nothing more than an insane spectacle of collective homicide."
The Dada movement was a reaction to the First World War.Not that there aren't a pile of wars going on right now. I mean, I can't help but see it on the television, even if I don't read the paper.
Katz agreed with me about that, and even Ol' One-eye Jack went "Merrow." I think he meant to say that Dada is right up his alley, too. But by this time, Ol' Jack was under the table.
Dada was "a revolt against a world that was capable of unspeakable horrors. Reason and logic had led people into the horrors of war; the only route to salvation was to reject logic and embrace anarchy and the irrational."No, Katz, Dada ain't over. Dada lives. And a lot of the humans I saw looking at the Dada, most of them pretty young from the looks of them, seemed to agree with me. They were all over Dada like ants on honey.
I was really pumped about seeing all the Dada. In fact, after seeing that show, I couldn't stop seeing Dada. Dada is everywhere. Want a couple of examples?
One heck of a humongous Gato! Right on the sidewalk! Looks like Dada to me.
And here's a Dada souvenir I bought for Katz.
But I gotta let Katz have the last word here:
According to Tristan Tzara, "God and my toothbrush are Dada, and New Yorkers can be Dada too, if they are not already."Ain't that the truth?
Tags: catymology cats Dada satire
Friday, July 21, 2006
Darcy's New York vacation, part 1
Yo, cats and catted ones! Darcy here.
I thought when I heard that we were going to the Big Apple that we would be going to some kind of a spa. You know, a Trump thing. Instead, I get here and find out I've gotta share digs with old One-eyed Jack here.
You can imagine, I was a bit put out. But it turns out that Jack is kinda cool. As you can see, he really only does have one eye. He ain't a thoroughbred like me, either. Jack told me he was born on the street in Brooklyn, which is a part of New York City. He and his brother Jake ran wild until some human guy caught them. Then, after some adventures that I still haven't had time to figure out, a human woman who lives in the Chelsea part of Manhattan ended up giving Jack and Jake a home.
Well, but somehow Jack had got a bad blow to his eye, maybe from fighting with some other young cat. Since he was pretty much wild at the time, he wouldn't let his new human take care of his wound like it should have been. His eye got infected. After a while, sad to say, it had to be removed.
But Jack has recovered, and it seems like these days he's got a pretty good life. He doesn't go travelling like me and Zeus, but he seems pretty mellow. And when he sits in his window seat, there ain't no foreign cats messing with such a tough little guy as Jack.
Well, it's been a long day already, and I haven't even begun to tell you all that I did today in New York City. I gotta sign off now, though, cause at least my humans are here, and you know what they say, the family that sleeps together, stays together.
When your human is away, what else is there to do but sleep? Fortunately, amanuensis left her second in command in charge of my care and feeding. I just can't wait for him to get home from work so I can go outside.
I'll probably wake up when Modulator presents the Friday Ark. And another 48 catnaps later, I'll check out Cato's Carnival of the Cats at Creatures of the Earth.
Monday, July 17, 2006
News from the Blogoverse
The enviably organized Gary Cruse has published another entertaining and edifying edition of the Best of me Symphony. My post about therapy pets is included.
In other news, Lyn Perry writes:
Starting this Thursday at Bloggin' Outloud we'll host the Blogs of Summer Awards. We'll be taking nominations in 5 categories Thurs, July 20 through Sun, July 23. Voting will take place July 24 to 27, with winners announced Friday, July 28th.
Would you like to participate and help spread the word? I've got some graphics for you to snag and a blogroll for you to join. Simply visit the permalink at Bloggin' Outloud for info.
The 5 Categories are: The Best of the . . .
1) Chick & Mommy Blogs
2) Humor & Satire Blogs
3) Milblogs and Military Support Blogs
4) Random Blogs That Don't Fit a Category
5) Kitty Kat Blogs (And Other Assorted Pets)
You can nominate a maximum of 5 blogs per category (including your own). No vulgar, hate, or anti-God blogs accepted. No anonymous nominations accepted. You can use either the Blogger or Haloscan comment popups for each category entry (starting Thursday - they aren't up yet :-) and the Top 10 Nominations will make it to the final round for the official vote.
Friday, July 14, 2006
Happy Birthday to Kathleen
The nice human who feeds me when my own humans go on vacation is having a birthday today. I sent her this beautiful e-card from the World Wildlife Fund. Those are snow leopards. Aren't they gorgeous?
Notes from Darcy X
Yo, cats and catted ones,
I've been checking out spas in the New York area, as my humans and I are probably going to make a quick trip to the Big Apple next week. (More about that to come.)
So, I got back on the thingpoddy today and guess what? I've got my own spam!
Here's what it said:
One of our agents has been trying to contact you regarding your home.
An unique situation has come to our attention regarding r a t e s and we
strongly feel you will be interested in hearing about it.
Even a lo w credit history will not be an issue if you confirm with us today.
Isn't that cute? But, hey, stupid humans, I'm a footloose feline and I don't own a house. My credit history? What do they mean? I know Katz has a gold Master Card; that's how he bought that golden bowl for Kukka. I ain't never had no credit card, though. Hmn, but maybe I'll get an offer for one.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
My gift for Kukka-Maria
The lovely Kukka is celebrating her blogiversary on July 15. Here's my gift for her: a golden ceramic bowl by Polia Pillin, circa 1964. Won't your ahi tuna taste even better when you eat it from this bowl?
Snooping around with a great feline PI
Snooping around is one of my favorite activities. Investigating here. Sniffing there. Maybe I should get a job as a Private Investigator? Like Midnight Louie. I was interested to see that there’s a new book about Louie out now: Cat in a Quicksilver Caper .
Louie is described as a hardboiled PI. I’d call him the Bruce Willis of cats. His human, Temple Barr, works in PR in Las Vegas, a city where crimes are as plentiful as mice in a corncrib. In this installment of Louie’s adventures, he tangles with art thieves, Russian mafiosa, and Chechen rebels--not to mention a curare-nailed performing Siamese cat, Hyacinth. I wonder whether Darcy X has a shot at playing Hyacinth in the movie version? Other than the guy-girl thing, Darcy is exactly the right type.
Here's a little taste of how Louie and Temple get along. Temple is just waking up.
Because all morning-afters have their down as well as their up sides, and Temple was starting to see that. It didn’t help that Midnight Louie, all fully furred twenty pounds of him, was sitting on her chest like a guilty conscience, staring at her with unblinking feline-green eyes.
His mesmerizing eyes and shiny black hair reminded her that she was betrothed (as much as you could be in a modern world) to raven-haired Max Kinsella, a magician on hiatus. Louie’s watchful presence also reminded her that Louie had been on patrol in the apartment early this morning when she’d returned from her supposedly bland dinner date with neighbor Matt Devine, during which certain overly neighborly things had occurred and mention had been made of the M-word: marriage.
Louie knew. Somehow.
And that gloriously green stare said that he understood every miserable nuance of her now hopelessly complicated love life. And that he did not approve.
The author, Carole Nelson Douglas, spoke recently in my home town, and amanuensis took notes. Apparently, some editors and critics think her work is too erudite, with its references to literature and mythology and a style that’s crisp and slyly satirical. Nonsense, I say. Every cat deserves to have a good vocabulary and a wide range of cultural reference points. Louie’s got that nailed.
More about Louie and his past adventures is on Douglas' website.
Louie, I hope you'll board the Friday Ark at Modulator tomorrow. Then, Sunday's Carnival of the Cats will be at For the Junta; and while you're there, check out the Russian cats!
Tags: catymology cats Book Reviews
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Feline folklore and more: Messybeast.com
Artist and writer Sarah Hartwell maintains a web site that is a treasure trove for ailurophiles. At the Messybeast Cat Resource Archive, you'll find lots of articles about cat care, cat rescue, and various breeds of cats. At Moggycat, Hartwell focuses on feline legends, cat humor, wild cats, mythical cats. Hartwell also makes available a number of free images, like the two accompanying this post.
Have you ever heard of winged cats? Hartwell provides a historical overview of fanciful and verified winged cats, including a scientific explanation of why some cats appear to have wings. The main cause, it turns out, is felted mats of fur that can form on long-haired cats.
Cat trivia is Hartwell's forte. An article about "politically incorrect cats" investigates a rumor about the Siamese cats depicted in the classic Disney movie, "Lady and the Tramp." You, know, the ones who caused all the ruckus and sang, annoyingly,
Update 11/28/2007: Unfortunately, the Messybeast site appears to have been taken down. I'm purring for it to return!
Messybeast is back! Sarah wrote that their web host was afflicted with a beastly server, but everything's fixed now! Hurrah!
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Lynx caught in hunters' traps
Canada lynx, an endangered species, are being trapped and killed illegally, according to an article in today's Minneapolis Star Tribune. Two animal welfare groups have sued the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, alleging that
...at least a dozen lynx have suffocated, starved or been otherwise harmed since 2002 by traps such as wire neck snares and steel-jawed leg-hold traps.The Canada lynx, as it's name implies, wanders back and forth across the northern border between Minnesota and Canada. They are beautifull, long-furred creatures with fluffy ear feathers and little bobbed tails.
The traps are set legally to catch different fur-bearing animals such as foxes, bobcats and martens. The suit was filed by the Humane Society of the United States and Help Our Wolves Live, a Minneapolis nonprofit group.
A DNR spokesman saw a hidden agenda in the lawsuit.
"What we're looking at here is animal rights activists looking to use the Endangered Species Act and the lynx as a mechanism to ban trapping in Minnesota," he said.I don't know whether the animal rights groups want to ban trapping, although as a cat, I certainly hope that they do. Domestic cats and dogs can get caught in traps, too--a sad fate for any creature.
Cats sleep anywhere
Cats sleep anywhere, any table, any chair.
Top of piano, window-ledge, in the middle, on the edge.
Open draw, empty shoe, anybody's lap will do.
Fitted in a cardboard box, in the cupboard with your frocks.
Anywhere! They don't care! Cats sleep anywhere.
Eleanor Farjeon (1881 - 1965)
This clever picture book is out of print but may be available from used-book sellers.
Tags: catymology cats Book Reviews
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Tagged and tuckered out
Catymology Central was tagged by KT Cat at the Scratching Post.
Since the poet laureate (a.k.a. Aloysius) is spending Tuesday being a cat, I’m stepping up. (Actually when I last got a good look at him, he was curled up in a corner of the couch, snoring.)
4 jobs I’ve had:
1. International playcat.
2. World traveler.
3. Spokescat for the Bengal Tigers.
4. Cat-driven marketing consultant.
4 movies I could watch over and over:
4. The Autobiography of Darcy X
4 Places I’ve lived:
3. Greenwich Village, New York
4. New Cat City, Minnesota
4 TV shows I love to watch:
3. Battlestar Galactica
4. Babylon 5
4 Places I’ve been on holiday:
1. Maui, Hawaii
3. Florence, Italy
4. Cancun, Mexico
4 Websites I visit every day:
4. The Skwib
4 of my favorite foods:
1. Grilled Spam with secret sorrel sauce
2. Spam musubi
3. Spam’n’eggs with catnip
4. Gorgonzola-stuffed spamballs
4 lucky entities to tag:
Happy 4th of July to you catted ones, and drop me a can o tuna, would you?
Tags: catymology cats marketing tag